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Doctor Who sets TV record

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IT'S the show made in Cardiff that had the whole world watching.

Saturday night's triumphant 50th anniversary episode of Doctor Who rewrote the record books, receiving a Guinness World Record for the world's largest ever simulcast of a TV drama.

The one-off special, made in the Welsh capital by BBC Wales, set a new world record after being broadcast in 94 countries across six continents following a massive global campaign. r

In addition to the TV broadcast, the episode was screened in more than 1,500 cinemas worldwide, including in the UK, US, Canada, Latin America, Germany, Russia and Scandinavia.

More than half a million tickets were sold for the theatrical screenings at which fans were able to watch the episode in 3D.

The 50th anniversary Doctor Who was its most watched episode since Christmas Day 2010. The BBC One special peaked with 10.61m viewers, a 41.2% share of the Saturday night viewing figures, averaging a massive 10.18m viewers, giving it a 37.4% share.

It comfortably beat The X Factor, which dropped to 7.67m viewers, a 28.6% audience share.

However, Doctor Who wasn't the most watched programme of the day. Strictly Come Dancing narrowly beat it peaking with a series high of 11.74m viewers.

The TV extravaganza saw Peter Capaldi make his first brief appearance as The Doctor - along with each of his past regenerations, including a surprise cameo return for Tom Baker who bowed out as the fourth Doctor in 1981.

The 75-minute show had been under a veil of secrecy for months and was the climax of weeks of celebrations on TV, radio and with a huge fan convention at the ExCel Arena in east London.

For Doctor Who fanatic Michael Williams, who runs the world's longest-running Doctor Who quiz - the Cardiff-based Quiz Of Rassilion, there was huge excitement as he watched the climactic episode at the British Film Institute in London, alongside former Doctors Matt Smith, John Hurt and Sylvester McCoy.

"I've been at the ExCel running pub quizzes during the weekend and was offered a ticket for the BFI," he said.

"The 50th anniversary was like the best episode of anything that's ever been done.

"John Hurt was about six feet down from us on the same row, but the second Peter Capaldi came on it was like an eruption, the audience went wild. That reaction was the single most memorable reaction I've ever had to Doctor Who."

Williams added that the storyline couldn't have been bettered.

"I didn't know that Gallifrey was going to survive and that there would be all 13 doctors in it at the end which was so good. It sets up the Christmas special nicely as well, because it sounds like the Doctor is looking for his home, he's looking for Gallifrey and wanting to bring it back."

GRAPHIC: Billie Piper in the episode

The Doctors Matt Smith, left, David Tennant, centre, and John Hurt during the 50th anniversary episode of Doctor Who - Day of the Doctor. Right: Matt Smith and David Tennant in a scene from the episode ADRIAN ROGERS/BBC/PA

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  • APA 6th ed.: Owens, David (2013-11-25). Doctor Who sets TV record. South Wales Echo p. 3.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Owens, David. "Doctor Who sets TV record." South Wales Echo [add city] 2013-11-25, 3. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Owens, David. "Doctor Who sets TV record." South Wales Echo, edition, sec., 2013-11-25
  • Turabian: Owens, David. "Doctor Who sets TV record." South Wales Echo, 2013-11-25, section, 3 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Doctor Who sets TV record | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Doctor_Who_sets_TV_record | work=South Wales Echo | pages=3 | date=2013-11-25 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=1 December 2021 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Doctor Who sets TV record | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Doctor_Who_sets_TV_record | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=1 December 2021}}</ref>